How does the idea of resurrection affect the way we live out our lives? Maybe we look only to a future life and overlook the here and now. Maybe we don’t believe in a resurrection and the whole idea seems ridiculous. However if we are willing to rethink our concepts of God and the power of God, life is given a new perspective. Jesus tells us that God is a God of the living. In the power of God, even those who have died are alive to him. This power of God has the capacity to not only change thoughts of life lived in the future but also in the present as well.
Jesus was being challenged by the Sadducees about the resurrection. They were closely aligned to the Temple in Jerusalem and held firmly to the Torah – first five books of the Bible. Since no mention is made of the resurrection, then it isn’t a possibility. The Sadducee saw the work of God to bring justice as limited by the parameters of the Torah. Jesus challenged them to widen their views on the power of God.
The Sadduccees tried to show the concept of resurrection as ridiculous. They used the teaching that if a man died childless, his widow was to marry the man’s brother. A child born would then carry on the name, the life, of the deceased man. If this man had seven brothers who all died without a child with this woman, who would she belong to in the resurrection? While this arrangement did help protect the widow in a male dominated society, it also highlighted the understanding of a woman’s life from a purely biological value. Her purpose was to produce children that carried on the man’s life.
Thousands of years have gone by and women are still looked upon in many ways from a biological viewpoint to serve men. Not having children is looked down upon. Choosing not to have children is thought of as strange. So Jesus’ teaching about the resurrection is radical. God is a God of the living and we are children of the resurrection which means our relationships are based upon this God of the living. Jesus’ death and resurrection changed everything. Relationships are more than biological arrangements. A woman has greater purpose than to carry on a man’s name through a child. A child is of greater value than the mere continuation of a legacy. Serving God in ways that foster and enhance life to flourish in God’s good creation goes beyond human reproduction.
So Jesus’ words with the Sadducees about the resurrection left them either praising him for his wisdom or reluctant to challenge him again. How does the idea of the resurrection affect the way we live out our lives? If we have children we are blessed to be children of the resurrection. Raise those children for who they are, children of the resurrection. If we don’t have children because of choice or infertility, we are blessed to be children of the resurrection. The resurrection really does have a way of changing everything.